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Hey everyone! I'm new to Latin and I'm really confused! I finished my French lesson on duolingo so I decided to learn Latin which has always been my must-learn language!

I've got some questions tho: 1. How does declensions affect the grammar of a sentence? In french, the gender of a noun is important as it affects the articles to be used. But in Latin I dont get why declensions even exist. 2. What does the nominative case do? Do we change the verbs based on the plurality or the gender??

Hope you guys can help TT

August 29, 2019



Some tips have just been added to the Latin course I noticed, so you might want to read those.
Also, someone posted this very helpful message: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33839446


1 See, the declensions are pattern for endings of Nouns. Since the ending of Latin words (the case) determines the function (subject, direct object, etc), so if every Latin noun was in the same declension, every word in a sentence would have a similar ending. This would have made it very difficult to distinguish words when they were spoken, and you would feel like you were speaking a constant nursery rhyme. This is how it affects the grammar of a sentence and is the reason behind their existence.

2) What nominative case does is that it indicates the subject of a finite verb. When looking up a noun in a Latin dictionary, the nominative case is often given, followed by the genitive to indicate to which declension the noun belongs. Example:

Nauta in scapha est

The sailor is on the boat

3) Yes the verbs change according to the gender and person of the subject of the sentence.

You can refer to point 1, 2 & 4 to know more about declensions, cases & verbs .

I hope this helps you!


Latin has loads of declensions, but don't panic! You just need to work through them. Simple overview though:

Nominative is used for the subject of a verb, accusative the for object. The other declensions are used in place of prepositions - to, with, in, etc.

Nouns fall into various grammatical categories, some of which are (mostly) based on gender, but you'll pick up which declines how as you learn the vocabulary.

The verbs match the subject noun in number, but not gender. E.g. Amat can be "he loves", "she loves", and "it loves" depending on what noun is the subject (i.e. in the nominative case).

Once you get onto more advanced grammar there may be variations or exceptions to these simple rules, but by then you should have enough grasp of the basics to learn why.

Vale atque salve!

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